‘It’s all in the family,’ says Jug Shop’s new owner
Blood is thicker than liquor.
Ashish Patel, who took over ownership of Main Street’s iconic Jug Shop from his brother Dipenkumar, has a lot of respect for the family business — and the legacy of the Wareham institution, which reopened on May 1 after closing in 2021.
“It’s all in the family,” said Ashish, standing at the freshly-stocked liquor counter with his coworker and cousin, Bony Valsadiya. “There’s no bad blood or anything.”
“We have a lot of mutual understanding,” Valsadiya added.
Ashish, who moved to Wareham from Wisconsin 10 years ago, has spent his entire life in the liquor industry, following in his uncle’s footsteps.
Dipenkumar took over the Jug Shop in 2018, after previous owner Adelaide Deponte was caught selling alcohol to a 19-year-old undercover Wareham Police officer on two separate occasions. In 2021, Dipenkumar moved operations to Cranberry Plaza under a new name, East Wareham Liquors, which left the famed Main Street storefront dormant. Enter Ashish.
“It feels good, because the Jug Shop is back,” Ashish said. “[Locals] look at that sign. The kids know it, their parents know it.”
“It brings back a lot of memories,” Valsadiya said.
While working with Dipenkumar at East Wareham Liquors, customers would constantly ask Ashish when the Jug Shop would reopen. Its central, walkable location makes it a convenient place to get liquor.
Now that the shop is under his ownership, Ashish has added a greater variety of beers and wines to the store’s stock. Like the famous sign says, guests can still play the lottery inside, too.
“A lot of people like the lottery,” Ashish said.
Business has been slow so far, but Ashish hopes that word of mouth will bring people back to the Jug Shop, especially as fishers and boaters prepare to spend the summer on the Wareham River out back.